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Long-term review

BMW M2 - long-term review

£65,830 / as tested £70,295 / PCM £803
Published: 28 Mar 2024


  • SPEC

    BMW M2 G87



  • BHP


  • 0-62


TG's BMW M2 long-termer is a prime target for car thieves

Regular visitors to the Top Gear Garage will remember I had a car pinched last year. TG’s Audi S3 was nicked from my driveway by someone who broke into my house by smashing the back door open with a crowbar. Thanks to its tracker, the car was traced by the police within hours, but no-one was ever apprehended despite witnesses seeing the S3 speeding away and even capturing it on a dash-cam. I was the third Audi S3 ‘owner’ the door repair bloke had been to that week.

Since then, I’ve moved house (it was planned before the break-in). I’ve installed an army of CCTV cameras and a burglar alarm. But I’ve also got an even more expensive, conspicuous German performance car on the driveway. Recently a fellow journalist who’d borrowed a baby blue M2 woke up at four o’clock in the morning to discover there was an intruder skulking about downstairs, (unsuccessfully) rummaging around for the keys.

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A sobering reminder that brazen car theft is at epidemic levels in the UK – climbing 5 per cent in 2023. Recent freedom of information requests have revealed that 70 per cent of car thefts go unsolved.

You’ve no doubt heard Land Rover has waded into the insurance game after London-dwelling Range Rover owners were left unable to insure their cars due to high rates of theft in the capital. But trawl the forums and there’s a similar level of anxiety around BMW theft, due to a reputation for its keyless entry being relatively easy to hack. And you don’t have to look for long to discover a fairly alarming avalanche of home security camera recordings of thieves pinching locked M135is, M2s and M4s from their owners’ driveways.

So, given this is the ‘entry-level’ full-fat M car – the most accessible, and targeted at the youngest audience, I investigated what effect this has on insurance.

I’m, er, mid-30s. Three points. 10,000 commuting and social miles a year. Park on a driveway in a not unrespectable town, etc etc. Best price? £860 – but only as a multi-car policy. On its own, I’d need a black box data recorder to get the M2’s insurance under four figures. Yowch.

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Interestingly enough, downgrading my power trip to an M240i xDrive made no difference whatsoever. Best price? £850 for a multi-car, or £950 on its own. When I checked out policy costs for the Toyota GR86 I ran last year, it was exactly £600. Sure, it’s got exactly half the M2’s power and a hundredth of its badge cachet to most people, but it’s still a rear-wheel drive hoonmobile, and considerably rarer. And yet, eminently less nickable.

Can I offer any crumbs of comfort? Well, the data would suggest BMWs aren’t the biggest twoc-traps going: only the 3 Series appears in the UK’s top ten most stolen cars of 2023, coming in seventh place with 1,466 recorded thefts, or four every day. Exactly 0.8 more Mercedes C-Classes are nicked daily. Maybe they cut the boot off or something. Naturally, three of the top ten most-pinched cars are Land Rovers.

I’ll admit, it’s playing on my mind. I’m wary of posting about the M2 on my social media feeds, in case anyone recognises it’s local. I tuck it tightly behind my other half’s car to make it impossible to extricate from the driveway without an Austin Powers million-point turn. I’m so paranoid, the other day I caught myself avoiding filling it with petrol even when the warning light pinged. Why? because I knew I’d be out and about without the car that weekend and didn’t want to leave it sitting pretty with a full tank.

Are you a seasoned car thief? Ever been put off a job by starting a car to find the fuel reserve light is on? Leave a comment below.

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